Concert Review: Quasi, April 18, Horseshoe Tavern

Toronto – Quasi is a band from Portland, Oregon and have been around for many years. It features the former husband and wife duel of Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss along with bassist Joanna Bolme. You may be familiar with Janet Weiss, who is also part of the band Sleater-Kinney. They were in town on Sunday to promote their album American Gong which was released on February 23rd.

Normally, I wouldn’t go to Sunday shows, but I was running off the high of having the Penguins annihilate the Senators and so I felt like my energy level was pretty good. I had never heard of Quasi before but my friend had mentioned them as being good live and that the drummer was good. I’m a easy sell I guess. The Horseshoe was about 2/3 full when the band took to the stage at 9:50 and it was quite an eclectic crowd. Mostly, the people there were a tad older then say, a Hot Chip concert.

The show seemed to be divided up into two parts, the first half, when Sam Coomes was on the guitar, and the second half, when Sam Coomes was on the keyboard. The first half consisted of wailing on the borderline of jamming guitar sessions that blended nicely with Janet Weiss’s drumming. The lyrical delivery of Sam Coomes seems to be somewhat influenced by say, the Pixies, with it’s quiet / loud / quiet / loud sequences. It was definitely Portland/US college indie circa 1990s sound, whatever that is. You know the type. The keyboard portion, which according to my friend was more of their standard fair and was more theatrical, a little bit maniacal and somewhat more interesting. Coome really likes to pound on that keyboard, and that keyboard looks like it’s taken quite a beating. At times, you would think that he was just mashing shit up, but there is some method to his madness and somehow a song did come out of it. It was all pretty interesting. Janet Weiss’s drumming was also fantastic, and you could see why the lights of Stephen Malkmus and Bright Eyes would recruit her for drumming duties.

The show was well over an hour, and most people there were already fans of the band. The band had a fairly low key approach and were genuinely thankful for the crowd being there on a Sunday night. For the encore, they listened to some request and I guess played songs off that list. Good times were had.

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Music

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.